There’s no secret behind the importance of vitamin D. It’s also no secret that most of us cannot spend our days soaking up sunshine to get it naturally. Much of life happens indoors, shielding us from those all-important rays. But luckily there are plenty of supplements to provide adequate amounts of this essential vitamin. And to help you find the perfect one, we searched the web to find the best vitamin D supplements, according to experts, and listed them here for you.
What you may not know is that your strength levels are tied to your vitamin D levels. That’s right, research found that “a vitamin D deficiency can lead to a massive 78 percent drop in muscle strength.” Researchers say that “It’s necessary to explain to people that they risk losing muscle strength if they don’t get enough vitamin D. They need to expose themselves to the sun, eat food rich in vitamin D or take a supplement, and do resistance training exercises to maintain muscle strength.” But beyond helping with your bones and muscles, vitamin D may also be the thing that keeps your mind sharp.
Research shows that the right amount of vitamin D each day can help ward off dementia. Ultimately, the research team found that taking vitamin D displayed an association with living dementia-free for a longer period of time. The team saw 40 percent fewer dementia diagnoses in the group taking supplements. If you’re not exposed to an abundance of sunshine regularly, and you don’t receive adequate amounts of vitamin D in your diet, it’s worth considering supplementing to bring your levels up. Of course, always consult your doctor before starting any supplement regimen.
Now that you know exactly how essential vitamin D is, where should you start? StudyFinds did the research for you to compile a list of the top five best vitamin D supplements to take daily. Of course, we want to hear from you. Comment below to let us know which supplement on our list keeps your body strong and mind sharp!
The List: Best Vitamin D Supplements, According to Experts
1. NOW Vitamin D-3
This family-owned company has been around for 55 years, making supplements and many other high-quality products. This easy-to-find brand made all but one list we reviewed; and you can find NOW products in most grocery stores these days. “NOW Foods High Potency Vitamin D-3 is designed to help users who may not be getting enough sun, and thus, vitamin D on a regular basis. This is a very powerful supplement that aims to supercharge your body, delivering on the higher end of the recommended daily amount of vitamin D,” writes Sports Illustrated. Though one thing to keep in mind: “A higher amount of vitamin D is not geared toward kids or pregnant women.”
Forbes chose NOW Vitamin D-3 as their number one pick: “’The form of vitamin D is D3 (cholecalciferol), which research shows helps raise D levels in the body better than D2 (ergocalciferol),’ says Keri Gans, a registered dietitian nutritionist and Forbes Health Advisory Board member. Meanwhile, Taylor Wallace, Ph.D., CEO of the food science and nutrition research firm Think Healthy Group and a Forbes Health Advisory Board member, specifically recommends the 1,000 IU dosage of this product, as it’s ‘good for the general adult population but maybe more attractive to those that just want the recommended dose and are not looking to raise their blood levels.’”
“The NOW Vitamin D-3 10,000 IU provides a potent dose of 10,000 IUs of vitamin D3 in each soft gel capsule,” writes The Nutrition Insider. “With 120 servings per bottle, this is a very affordable option for people needing to raise their vitamin D levels.” But they also point out that “it’s important to know that not everyone needs this high of a vitamin D dose—it’s typically only recommended for people with moderate or severe vitamin D deficiencies.”
2. Hum Nutrition Here Comes the Sun Vitamin D
Hum Nutrition, founded in 2012, is a brand focused on producing quality products for women of all ages. They have a full catalog of goodies to include skin care, mood, hair, and nails products.
“The only vegan source of vitamin D3 is lichen, an algae-fungal hybrid microorganism that grows on trees and stones. Good quality plant-based vitamin D supplements will have lichen listed on their packs, just like our personal favorite, Hum Nutrition’s Here Comes The Sun,” writes Live Science. “Hum Nutrition is widely known for its high-quality products validated through extensive clinical research. Their brightly colored supplements do not contain any GMOs or artificial sweeteners or colorants, and are free from wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts and peanuts.”
“If you’re a vegan, you face a special vitamin D challenge — you may not get enough in your plant-based diet, yet most D supplements contain lanolin and/or gelatin, which come from animals. HUM makes its D supplements from lichen, which checks all the right boxes for vegans,” writes Good Housekeeping.
Healthline shares that “HUM Nutrition is a company that offers high quality supplements and personalized nutrition advice from its in-house team of registered dietitians.” They too bring home the point that this is a great option for those that do not eat meat: “This softgel supplement contains vitamin D3 derived from lichen, making it a great option for vegans and vegetarians.” They also speak to the quality of this product: “Plus, HUM Nutrition products are sustainably sourced, triple-tested for purity, and evaluated for potency by third-party labs.”
3. Nordic Naturals Vitamin D
What started as a company producing fish oil has grown into a full-fledged supplement company. No matter what health supplement you search on the internet, this name brand is sure to pop up as it is highly recommended by experts.
Gummies aren’t just for kids. “If you’re in search of a tastier way to meet your vitamin D needs, a gummy option might be a good solution. Each Nordic Naturals gummy contains 1,000 IUs of vitamin D, meeting over 100% of the RDA in a convenient and tasty way. It is NSF Certified for Sport, meaning it meets some of the strictest standards for safety and purity and is a great choice for athletes,” writes Verywell Fit. “Since it is a gummy, it contains a slightly more extensive ingredient list. However, we’re impressed that it only contains 2 grams of added sugars, which is a very small amount, even for those monitoring their sugar intake.”
But if any sugar at all is too much sugar, The Nutrition Insider notes that “Nordic Naturals does have a sugar-free vitamin D3 option, which is sweetened with xylitol and colored with fruit and vegetable juice,” so you can get the gummy without any added sugar. They do caution, though, that “although delicious, these gummies wouldn’t be suitable for children to take because they contain a higher vitamin D3 dose of 5,000 IUs.”
And if you’re in need of something for a little one, Mbg Health recommends Nordic’s Baby’s Vitamin D3: “Third-party purity tested and non-GMO verified, Nordic Naturals’ liquid vitamin D3 formula for babies offers 400 IU of D3 per serving. Made with organic extra-virgin olive oil, it’s free from gluten, milk derivatives, and anything artificial—and comes with a measured dropper so it can be easily added to formula or breast milk. This pick also just so happens to be the official baby’s vitamin D3 supplement pick of the American Pregnancy Association.”
4. Nature Made Vitamin D
You’ll find this brand in just about every grocery store chain. The brown bottles with yellow labels often fill entire sections with an extensive offering of vitamins and minerals. With most stores stocking Nature Made products, you can be sure you’re getting a quality product.
Forbes writes that “affordable, USP-verified,” and also that it is “gluten-free [with] no added colors or preservatives.” But they do note a potential downside, it “does not come in dosage lower than 1,000 IU” if you’re in need of a lower-dosed vitamin D product.
“Nature Made provides vitamin D in multiple dosages at an affordable price. The 1,000 IU version meets over 100% of the RDA and is a great option for those looking to supplement their diet,” writes Verywell Fit. “Those who are recovering from a vitamin D deficiency may benefit from a higher dose option, as a deficiency is usually corrected with a very high dose for a period of time and then 800-2,000 IU is used as a maintenance dose to prevent future deficiency.”
And for the kids, Mbg Health likes Nature Made Kids First Vitamin D Gummies: “These strawberry-, peach-, and mango-flavored gummies provide kids from ages four to 18 with 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 to support healthy bone and tooth development. Made with natural fruit flavors and colors derived from natural sources, they’re free of high-fructose corn syrup, gluten, artificial flavors, and artificial sweeteners. This is a nutrition ritual that kids look forward to!”
5. Thorne Liquid Vitamin D + K2
Thorne sells a variety of health supplements, and they believe in “scientific wellness,” which means their products are backed by testing and data. They also offer a variety of health tests on their website including a vitamin D test if you’re unsure of your current levels.
Sports Illustrated recommends Thorne’s Liquid Vitamin D + K2. They write, “Vitamin D drops are another convenient way to get your daily dose of vitamin D. They’re great for elderly people or children with chewing or swallowing problems. Thorne’s supplement drops can also be added to food or mixed into beverages. Thorne’s D/K2 product is all-natural, gluten-free and dairy-free…Another benefit of this vitamin is that the Thorne’s Vitamin D/ K2 Liquid provides nutritional support for oncology patients. Research has also shown that the synergistic effect of Vitamin D and K2 may slow cancer progression and reduce hypercalcemia.”
“Thorne is a trusted supplement brand certified by the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA), a regulatory agency run by the Australian Department of Health,” writes Healthline. They note that “Thorne’s liquid vitamin D supplement also provides vitamin K2, which works synergistically with vitamin D and is necessary for heart and skeletal health…Thorne products are manufactured in a facility that’s certified by NSF International and undergo four rounds of testing in the company’s in-house laboratories.”
Live Science writes: “Each bottle contains 600 servings, with two drops providing 1,000 IU vitamin D3 and 200 mcg of vitamin K2 – that’s 125% and 167% of your recommended daily value, respectively. The solution is oil-based, which helps with absorption of the active ingredients, and does not need to be refrigerated. Thorne Vitamin D & K2 is also free from gluten, dairy, soy, artificial flavors and colorings.” But they do note that this product “is not suitable for vegans.”
You may also be interested in:
- Best Joint Supplements
- Best Vitamins for Healthy Skin
- Best Stress Supplements in 2023
- Best Vitamins for Energy
- Best Zinc Supplements
- Live Science
- Verywell Fit
- Good Housekeeping
- Mbg Health
- The Nutrition Insider
- Sports Illustrated
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.
I was put on vitamin D several years ago. Took it just like I was supposed to maybe missing a few times but not often because everyone said how important vitamin D is. Well now I am paying for it I went for a blood test as I had to change Dr. The first thing I was told after they got the results was no vitamin D for 3 months because mine was way to high. I can’t even have anything that says with vitamin D. When I looked up the symptom of Vitamin D toxicity it was very scary.